ASK A COP — Officer not trying to blind you with light
Robert from Port Arthur asks: I was stopped recently for speeding, and I’ll admit it I was speeding, but I really felt uncomfortable during the police stop. I was uncomfortable because the officer shined his bright light on my side view mirror and I couldn’t see him as he approached my vehicle, and when he spoke to me it startled me because I couldn’t see him. It’s not fair for him to do this. I asked him if he would shut the light off and he refused. Officer Antoine I thought this was rude and insensitive of him. I support police officers, and I’m not a common criminal where I should be treated as such. Officer Antoine, in case I’m stopped again and this same act by the police officer occurs what should I do to address the blinding light from the police car?
Answer: Very good question Robert! I’m doing something that I don’t usually do and that’s speaking on another officer’s actions when I wasn’t present. Let me assure you and any other reader that the officer was not being malicious or demeaning in any way. Robert when you described what the officer did I truly believed you because I do it all the time. Robert we are taught this procedure of shining our spotlight on the vehicle being stopped side view mirror for officer safety purpose. This procedure allows the police officer to approach your vehicle safely, so actually shining the spotlight on your mirror makes the traffic stop safer for you and the officer because he will be aided by identifying occupants and their actions in your vehicle at nighttime! Although this procedure may be uncomfortable to you I encourage you to look away from the side view mirror. The light will not be bothersome to you if you don’t look towards the mirror. Robert the spotlight also aids the officer in reading any documents that are presented during the stop. Even though the spotlight that’s on the side view mirror may make you uncomfortable, the officer isn’t being rude. it’s for safety for all parties involved.
Mable from Groves asks: Officer Antoine, I pray daily for you and all of our police officers’ protection. I know y’all have a dangerous job to look over the safety and welfare of all citizens, not only in your local community, but the entire state of Texas. Officer Antoine, I have a parking problem on my street every day. When I attempt to back out of my driveway, there’s a vehicle parked across the street directly behind my driveway. I’ve spoken with a neighbor about the parking before. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble because they have parked badly. What can be done, Officer Antoine, and what violation is this?
Answer: Good question, Mable! Parking problems are always a constant issue, and your dilemma, as well as many others, should be addressed. Firstly Mable, I must advise you that your neighbors didn’t do anything wrong when they parked on the other side of the road behind your driveway. I understand the stress and difficulty it may require you to be careful exiting your driveway, but the law doesn’t require motorists to park any different. Your best conclusion would be to continue to speak with your neighbors, not demanding, but you would appreciate if they don’t park there because you don’t want to damage anyone’s vehicle. Keep in mind Mable, if you back into one of those vehicles you can be cited for unsafe backing. With that said, don’t back out if it can’t be done so safely!
Gloria for Nederland asks: Great column! My husband and I are arguing about the yellow speed limit signs that are normally in curves. Can you write a ticket for someone going over the speed limit of a yellow speed limit sign?
Answer: Good question, Gloria! The actual speed limit signs that are enforceable in Texas are white with black lettering. The yellow signs are advisory signs that tell, suggest or recommend safe speeds on curves. The actual speed limit on the curve would be the last black and white speed sign on the highway, but we would all agree it would be almost a suicide mission to attempt the higher highway speed on the curve. Gloria, if you are involved in a crash and you don’t adhere to the yellow advisory sign curve, you will more than likely be charged with unsafe speed even if you were below the actual speed limit, but above the posted advisory sign.
Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday for one hour from 1–2:30 p.m. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses in detail the newly released Ask A Cop article that printed in The News. You can also tune in via internet at www.ksapthebreeze.org. Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at 409-982-0247.
Remember to email your questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov, or call 409-983-8673 and leave a message or voice mail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 Fourth St., Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!
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